Your Instagram will never be as cool as Pete Souza’s. He travels the world with the president—shooting candids of Angela Merkel (in virtual-reality goggles) and Steph Curry (cringing in board-game defeat as Obama cheers). His globe-trotting job is 24/7. For the ever-shifting circumstances, he has the ultimate stripped-down kit, shown above, to perform in every condition. Even if you’re not POTUS-worthy, you would do well to shoot with these.
Two Canon 5D Mark III’s
Canon 5D Mark III Canon’s flagship camera body is a photojournalism standard. Souza carries two, and almost always uses them in silent mode to reduce shutter sound during sensitive moments. Sam Kaplan
Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L II
Souza didn’t trust Canon’s first 24-70 lens. But the second generation of the lens adds three low-distortion internal glass elements, and now it’s his primary shooter. Sam Kaplan
In his downtime, Souza prefers the compact Fujifilm X100S (Fuji’s since updated to the faster-focusing X100T). It has the same large DSLR sensor but housed in a slimmer body. Sam Kaplan
This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Photog In Chief.”